Accident Hawker Sea Fury T Mk 20 VX818, Tuesday 22 June 1954
ASN logo
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Tuesday 22 June 1954
Type:Silhouette image of generic FURY model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Hawker Sea Fury T Mk 20
Owner/operator:Empire Test Pilots School (ETPS)
Registration: VX818
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Aldershot, Hampshire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Departure airport:Farnborough Airfield, Farnborough, Hampshire (EGLF)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Sea Fury VX818 was the Prototype two-seat training variant of the Sea Fury (designated T.Mk.20) to Specification N.19/47, under Contract No.6/Acft/2577/CB.7(b). The two seater version was originally ordered by Iraq, and first flew on 13/7/1948. VX818 was initially retained by Hawker Aircraft Ltd at Langley, Berkshire for test flying, sales and demonstration flights.

VX818 was delivered shortly afterwards to Boscombe Down for development trials and it was during these that, following collapse of the rear canopy, the interconnecting cockpit "tunnel" was added. Also developed was a Hawker-designed periscopic sight mounted on a tripod just forward of the instructor's cockpit, while the armament was reduced to two 0.787 in (20 mm) guns in order to permit installation of equipment displaced by the introduction of the second cockpit. After this VX818 was delivered on 11/3/1949, to the Empire Test Pilots School, Farnborough.

Written off (destroyed) 22/6/54: crashed at Aldershot Hampshire. The aircraft was being test flown after period of maintenance and rectification work. Immediately after take off, after the aircraft had reached an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet, the aircraft's engine completely failed due to a mechanical break up in some of the cylinders.

A forced landing was attempted on an Army tank training area near Aldershot, Hampshire, but the aircraft's tail struck a ridge, and the tail unit separated from the rest of the airframe. The aircraft then slewed around, and continued to travel backwards, disintegrating as it went, causing the pilot to sustain fatal injuries when he was thrown out of the aircraft
S/Ldr D.J. Murphy DFC (Test Pilot) ETPS - killed


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.160 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Royal Air Force Aircraft SA100-VZ999 (James J Halley, Air Britain, 1985 p.84)
3. Category Five; A Catalogue of RAF Aircraft Losses 1954 to 2009 by Colin Cummings p.66
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) File ADM 1/25341:

Revision history:

13-Apr-2020 20:22 Dr. John Smith Added
13-Apr-2020 20:50 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
24-Apr-2020 00:25 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
12-Jun-2020 08:47 Digger Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Operator]
27-Jun-2022 11:51 Nepa Updated [Location, Narrative, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314